(Photo: Jeff Curry/US Presswire)
My understanding is the Cardinals had never swept a four-game series against the Brewers. But after watching those four games, it’s hard to believe the Brewers have ever won against St. Louis. In three of the games, the Cardinals jumped out to big leads and never looked back. On Saturday, Milwaukee actually showed some life, scoring five earned runs against Adam Wainwright – something they had never done before.
It wasn’t enough. Even when the Brewers do things right against the Cardinals, it just isn’t enough. When a guy like Daniel Descalso – who was hitting all of .167 at the time and only had one previous homerun against a lefty pitcher – takes Tom Gorzelanny out of the park to put the Cardinals back on top, after the Brewers fought to get back in the game…it just feels like there’s nothing they can do. On Sunday, Allen Craig drove in a run on a bloop triple in the sixth inning. A bloop triple!? When has there ever been a bloop triple before? Bloody hell.
During Sunday’s game, Bill Schroeder was trying to fill TV time in a blowout, and he said something that didn’t ring true. Talking about how the Cardinals have had a lot of success against the Brewers since mid-2011, Schroeder said, “Before that, the Brewers had their way with St. Louis for a while.” Maybe it’s denial. Maybe the Cardinals have beaten the Brewers so badly it’s given Schroeder the broadcaster’s equivalent of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Since the Brewers joined the NL Central in 1998, the only time Milwaukee had their way with the Cardinals was 2008, when they went 10-5 against St. Louis. Other than that, the Brewers have had two winning seasons against the Cardinals: they were 7-6 in 1999 (despite being outscored 61-71 over those 13 games), and they were 8-7 in 2010 (again while being outscored overall).
There have been four seasons when the Brewers lost at least ten times to the Cardinals. The most lopsided was 2003, when Milwaukee was 3-13 against St. Louis, and outscored 62-129. From 1998 through 2012, the Brewers record against the Cardinals was 101-130. That’s a leap year February more games St. Louis won during that span. 2008 aside, the Brewers have not had their way with St. Louis.
As Brewers fans, it would be nice if there was a good reason to dislike the Cardinals, if we could somehow believe they weren’t playing the game the right way or didn’t deserve their success. When Tony LaRussa managed St. Louis, he was such a cantankerous, polarizing figure, you could convince yourself the Cardinals were unscrupulous. But now it just seems like the Cardinals beat the Brewers because they are the better team. How humiliating. To paraphrase Noah Jarosh at Brew Crew Ball, why couldn’t they be more like the Pirates?
Still 12 more games against the Cardinals in 2013. On the bright side, there are also 16 games against Pittsburgh, so maybe it will all balance out.